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Companion Plants and Organic Pest Control - Texas Native Plants
 

Companion Plants and Organic Pest Control - Texas Native Plants

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Companion Plants and Organic Pest Control - Texas Native Plants

Companion Plants and Organic Pest Control - Texas Native Plants

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    Companion Plants and Organic Pest Control - Texas Native Plants Companion Plants and Organic Pest Control - Texas Native Plants Document Transcript

    • Pests and Diseases Companion Plants Red Spider Mite Indications First sign is that the leaves may look pale and mottled. Particularly in greenhouse grown plants. Treatment Organic 1. Wash them off with a hose. 2. Spray them with soft soap. 3. Sprays containing pyrethrum every 5-7 days Basil, Onion Family, on the upper and lower sides of the leaves. Nasturtium, Mint, Marigold, Prevention Difficult. Try keeping the atmosphere humid. Asparagus, Carrot, Parsley, Cucumber Aphids Indications Leaves distorted, yellowing and stunted If you know aphids are a sometimes leading to virus problem in your area, grow Treatment Organic flowers such as nasturtiums, 1. Spray with soft soap calendula asters, dahlias, and 2. Use water through a hosepipe to knock the zinnias nearby (but not too aphids off the plants close) as aphids find them Chemical attractive so they act as a lure. Spray with an insecticide containing pyrethrum Create a bio-diverse environment Prevention None by planting flowers nearby to Blossom End Rot attract bees, ladybirds and other "friendlies". Indications Leathery dark patches at bottom of fruit Treatment None To learn more about companion Prevention Do not let the soil or compost dry out. Even planting click here. watering is essential especially when using growbags. Potato Blight Indications Brown edges and patches on leaves which spread. Stems have blackened patches. Treatment None once the disease has taken hold Prevention Chemical Spray with Dithane once the plants have been stopped (tips pinched out) and repeat every 2 weeks if the weather is damp.Top Terrific Tomato TipsGrowing Great TomatoesBy Marie Iannotti1. Don’t Crowd Seedlings.
    • Photo Provided by Inga Ropsa / stock.xchng.If you are starting tomatoes from seed, be sure to give the seedlings room to branch out. Close conditions inhibit theirgrowth, so transplant them as soon as they get their first true leaves and move them into 4" pots about 2 weeks afterthat.2. Provide lots of light.Tomato seedlings will need either strong, direct sunlight or 14-18 hours under grow lights. Place the young plants only acouple of inches from florescent grow lights. Plant your tomatoes outside in the sunniest part of your vegetable plot.Plant Grow Lights3. Put a fan on your seedlings.It seems tomato plants need to move and sway in the breeze, to develop strong stems. Provide a breeze by turning a fanon them for 5-10 minutes twice a day.4. Preheat the soil in your garden. Photo Provided by daniel wildman / stock.xchng.Tomatoes love heat. Cover the planting area with black or red plastic a couple of weeks before you intend to plant. Thoseextra degrees of warmth will translate into earlier tomatoes.Red Mulch and Tomatoes5. Bury them.Bury tomato plants deeper than they come in the pot, all the way up to a few top leaves. Tomatoes are able to developroots all along their stems. You can either dig a deeper hole or simply dig a shallow tunnel and lay the plant sideways. Itwill straighten up and grow toward the sun. Be careful not to drive your pole or cage into the stem.Video - Tips for Planting Tomatoes6. Mulch Later. Photo: © Marie Iannotti (2009) licensed to About.com, Inc.Mulch after the ground has had a chance to warm up. Mulching does conserve water and prevents the soil and soil borndiseases from splashing up on the plants, but if you put it down too early it will also shade and therefore cool the soil. Tryusing plastic mulch for heat lovers like tomatoes and peppers. (See Tip #4)Why Bother with Mulch?7. Remove the Bottom Leaves. Photo: © Marie Iannotti (2009) licensed to About.com, Inc.Once the tomato plants are about 3 tall, remove the leaves from the bottom 1 of stem. These are usually the first leavesto develop fungus problems. They get the least amount of sun and soil born pathogens can be unintentionally splashed uponto them. Spraying weekly with compost tea also seems to be effective at warding off fungus diseases.Common Tomato Diseases8. Pinch & Prune for More Tomatoes
    • Photo: © Marie Iannotti (2009) licensed to About.com, Inc.Pinch and remove suckers that develop in the crotch joint of two branches. They won’t bear fruit and will take energy awayfrom the rest of the plant. But go easy on pruning the rest of the plant. You can thin leaves to allow the sun to reach theripening fruit, but it’s the leaves that are photosynthesizing and creating the sugars that give flavor to your tomatoes.Should You Prune Tomato Suckers?9. Water the Tomato Plants Regularly. Photo: © Marie Iannotti (2009) licensed to About.com, Inc.Water deeply and regularly while the plants are developing. Irregular watering, (missing a week and trying to make up forit), leads to blossom end rot and cracking. Once the fruit begins to ripen, lessening the water will coax the plant intoconcentrating its sugars. Don’t withhold water so much that the plants wilt and become stressed or they will drop theirblossoms and possibly their fruit.Blossom End Rot10. Getting Them to Set Tomatoes. Photo Courtesy of the National Garden BureauDeterminate type tomatoes tend to set and ripen their fruit all at one time, making a large quantity available when you’reready to make sauce. You can get indeterminate type tomatoes to set fruit earlier by pinching off the tips of the mainstems in early summer.Controlling Blossom Drop3. Troubleshooting Tomatoes: Diseases and ProblemsIf you plant it, they will come. Were not the only ones who love tomatoes. There are plenty of pest and diseases lurking inthe garden, waiting to foil your best efforts. Dont let them. The solution to tomato problems is being prepared. Let ushelp. Tomato Blossom DropBlossom drop is a common tomato growing problem that can be extremely frustrating to the home gardener. Otherwisehealthy looking tomato plants set flower blossoms, only to have them dry up and fall off the plant before a fruit is formed.What Causes Blossom Drop in Tomatoes?Blossom drop can be attributed to several causes, most often related to either temperature and / or stress. Temperature Too High or Too Low Lack of Pollination Nitrogen - Too Much or Too Little Humidity Too High or Low Humidity. Lack of water Stress from insect damage or disease Too Heavy Fruit Set
    • Tomato Foliage Diseases Growing fresh tomatoes is one of the true joys of the vegetable gardener. But tomatoes can suffer from all kinds of diseas often the result of weather conditions. This is something that is out of the gardeners control. However if you know your ar for varieties that are listed as resistant. Your local Cooperative Extension Service should be able to help you there. Tomato diseases are rarely fatal, if the proper management is employed. It is important to catch any tomato disease early and possibly other plants in the same family, such as potatoes, eggplants and peppers. Here are some common tomato di tomato diseases threaten your home vegetable garden. Tomato Diseases – Foliage Early Blight Early Blight can affect the foliage, stems and fruit of tomatoes. Symptoms: Dark spots with concentric rings devel area may turn yellow. Affected leaves may die prematurely, exposing the fruits to sun scald. Management: Early Blight fungus overwinters in plant residue and is soil-borne. It can also come in on transplants. Remove a debris. Wet weather and stressed plants increase likelihood of attack. Copper and/or sulfur sprays can prevent further developm lessens problems. More info and photo from Clemson University Cooperative Extension Gray Leaf Spot Gray Leaf Spot affects only the leaves of tomatoes, starting with the oldest leaves. Symptoms: Small, dark spots that can be seen on both the top and bottom surfaces of the leaves. The spots enlarge and turn a grayish brown. Eventually the centers of the spots crack and fall out. Surrounding leaf areas will turn yellow and the leaves will dry and drop. Fruit production is inhibited. Management: Warm, moist conditions worsen gray leaf spot problems. Remove all affected plants and fall garden debris. Select resistant varieties. More info and photo from Texas Cooperative Extension Late Blight Late blight affects both the leaves and fruit of tomatoes. Late Blight is the disease responsible for the Irish Potato Famine. Late Blight spreads rapidly. Cool, wet weather encourages the development of the fungus. If you suspect you have Late Blight, contact your Local Extension Service for definite ID. Symptoms: Greasy looking, irregularly shaped gray spots appear on leaves. A ring of white mold can develop around the spots, especially in wet weather. The spots eventually turn dry and papery. Blackened areas may appear on the stems. The fruit also develop large, irregularly shaped, greasy gray spots. Management: Copper sprays offer some control. Serenade® works best as a deterrent, rather than a cure. The Late Blight fungus can overwinter in frost free areas. Since it spreads to potatoes, it also overwinters in potato debris and seed, even in colder areas. Remove all debris and dont save seed potatoes. Septoria Leaf Spot Septoria Leaf Spot is sometimes mistaken for Late Blight. With septoria leaf spot, the papery patches on the leaves develop tiny, dark specks inside them. Older leaves are affected first. Management: Copper sprays and Serenade® are somewhat affective at halting the spread of symptoms. More info and photo from Cornell University Cooperative Extension Southern Blight Southern Blight manifests as a white mold growing on the stem near the soil line. Dark, round spots will appear on the lower stem and both the outer and inner stem will become discolored. Southern Blight fungus girdles the tomato stem and prevents the plant from taking up water and nutrients. Young plants may collapse at the soil line. Management: Crop rotation seems to help. There has also been some evidence that extra calcium and the use of fertilizers containing ammonium offer some protection. More info for control from Minnesota Extension Service and photos from Louisiana State University Ag Center. Verticillium Wilt This name can be misleading, as sometimes the leaves will turn yellow, dry up and never appear to wilt. Verticillium wilt is caused by a soil-borne fungus and it can affect many different vegetables. The fungus can persist in the soil for many years, so crop rotation and selection of resistant varieties is crucial. Symptoms include: wilting during the hottest part of the day and recovering at night, yellowing and eventually browning between the leaf veins starting with the older, lower leaves and discoloration inside the stems. Verticillium Wilt inhibits the plants ability to take in water and nutrients and will eventually kill the plant. Verticillium wilt is more pronounced in cool weather. Tomato Fruit DiseasesTomato diseases are rarely fatal, if the proper management is employed. It is important to catch any tomato disease early,before it spreads to all of your tomato plants and possibly other plants in the same family, such as potatoes, eggplants andpeppers. Here are some common tomato diseases, their symptoms and what to do if tomato diseases threaten your homevegetable garden. prevent further development of the fungus.Tomato Diseases - Foliage Early Blight Early Blight can affect the foliage, stems and fruit of tomatoes. Symptoms: Dark spots with concentric rings develop on older leaves first. The surrounding leaf area may turn yellow. Affected leaves may die prematurely, exposing the fruits to sun scald. Management: Early Blight fungus overwinters in plant residue and is soil-borne. It can also come in on transplants. Remove affected plants and thoroughly clean fall garden debris. Wet weather and stressed plants increase likelihood of attack. Copper and/or sulfur sprays can prevent further development of the fungus. Gray Leaf Spot Gray Leaf Spot affects only the leaves of tomatoes, starting with the oldest leaves. Symptoms: Small, dark spots that can be seen on both the top and bottom surfaces of the leaves. The spots enlarge and turn a grayish brown. Eventually the centers of the spots crack and fall out. Surrounding leaf areas will turn yellow and the leaves will dry and drop. Fruit production is inhibited. Management: Warm, moist conditions worsen gray leaf spot problems. Remove all affected plants and fall garden debris. Select resistant varieties.
    • Late Blight Late blight affects both the leaves and fruit of tomatoes. Late Blight is the disease responsible for the Irish Potato Famine. Late Blight spreads rapidly. If you suspect you have Late Blight, contact your Local Extension Service for definite ID. Symptoms: Greasy looking, irregularly shaped gray spots appear on leaves. A ring of white mold can develop around the spots, especially in wet weather. The spots eventually turn dry and papery. Blackened areas may appear on the stems. The fruit also develop large, irregularly shaped, greasy gray spots. Management: The Late Blight fungus can overwinter in frost free areas. Since it spreads to potatoes, it also overwinters in potato debris and seed, even in colder areas. Cool, wet weather encourages the development of the fungus. Septoria Leaf Spot Septoria Leaf Spot is sometimes mistaken for Late Blight. Symptoms: With septoria leaf spot, the papery patches on the leaves develop tiny, dark specks inside them. Older leaves are affected first. Management: Copper sprays are somewhat affective at halting the spread of symptoms. Southern Blight Symptoms: Southern Blight manifests as a white mold growing on the stem near the soil line. Dark, round spots will appear on the lower stem and both the outer and inner stem will become discolored. Southern Blight fungus girdles the tomato stem and prevents the plant from taking up water and nutrients. Young plants may collapse at the soil line. Management: Crop rotation seems to help. There has also been some evidence that extra calcium and the use of fertilizers containing ammonium offer some protection. Verticillium WiltThis name can be misleading, as sometimes the leaves will turn yellow, dry up and never appear to wilt. Verticillium wilt is caused by a soil-borne fungus and it can affect many different vegetables. The fungus can persist in the soil for many years, so crop rotation and selection of resistant varieties is crucial. Symptoms include: wilting during the hottest part of the day and recovering at night, yellowing and eventually browning between the leaf veins starting with the older, lower leaves and discoloration inside the stems. Verticillium Wilt inhibits the plants ability to take in water and nutrients and will eventually kill the plant. Verticillium wilt is more pronounced in cool weather. Management: Remove affected plants and choose resistant varieties. Preventing Blossom End Rot Blossom drop is a common tomato growing problem that can be extremely frustrating to the home gardener. Otherwisehealthy looking tomato plants set flower blossoms, only to have them dry up and fall off the plant before a fruit is formed.What Causes Blossom Drop in Tomatoes?Blossom drop can be attributed to several causes, most often related to either temperature and / or stress. Temperature Too High or Too Low Lack of Pollination Nitrogen - Too Much or Too Little Humidity Too High or Low Humidity. Lack of water Stress from insect damage or disease Too Heavy Fruit SetControlling Tomato Blossom Drop 1. Grow varieties suited to your Climate The most frequent cause of tomato blossom drop is temperature. High daytime temperatures (above 85 F / 29 C) High Nighttime Temperatures (Below 70 / 21 C) Low Nighttime Temperatures (Below 55 / 13 C) Tomatoes grow best if daytime temperatures range between 70 F / 21 C and 85 F / 29 C. While tomato plants can tolerate more extreme temperatures for short periods, several days or nights with temps outside the ideal range will cause the plant to abort fruit set and focus on survival. According to the University of NV, temperatures over 104F / 40 C for only four hours can cause the flowers to abort. Gardeners in cooler climates should not rush to get their tomatoes planted in the spring. Wait until nighttime temperatures are reliably above 55 F /13 C or protect them with a cover at night. You won’t gain any advantage by setting them out too early. Choose early maturing tomato varieties for spring growing in cooler climates. (Early Girl, Legend, Matina, Oregon Spring, Polar Baby, Silvery Fir Tree) Select heat a heat-tolerant ("heat set") tomato variety for areas with long periods of hot or humid weather. High nighttime temps are even worse than high daytime temperatures because the tomato plant never gets to rest. (Florasette, Heat Wave, Solar Set, Sunchaser, Sunmaster, Sunpride, Surfire) 2. Ensure Pollination Tomatoes need some help to pollinate. Either insects, wind or hand shaking of the flowers is necessary to carry the pollen from the anthers to the stigma. During weather extremes, there are often no insect pollinators in the garden. It sometimes help attract more bees if you plant nectar rich flowers in your vegetable garden.
    • 3. Go Easy on the Fertilizer Don’t automatically feed your tomato plants every week. Make sure your soil is healthy, with adequate organic matter. Apply a balanced fertilizer at planting and again when fruit forms. Too much nitrogen encourages the plant to grow more foliage, not more fruit. 4. Work Around the Humidity The ideal humidity range is between 40 - 70%. If humidity is either too high or too low, it interferes with the release of pollen and with pollens ability to stick to the stigma. So pollination will not occur. If humidity is too low, hose the foliage during the day. This will both cool the plant and raise the humidity. This is not recommended in areas with high humidity or when fungus diseases are present. Gardeners in high humidity areas should look for tomato varieties that are not bothered by humidity. (Eva Purple Ball, Flora-Dade, Grosse Lisse, Jubilee, Moneymaker, Sun Gold, Taxi, Yellow Pear) Water deeply, once a week, during dry weather. Tomatoes have very deep roots, sometimes going down into the soil up to 5 feet. Shallow watering will stress and weaken the plants. 5. Keep your tomato plants healthy. Use good cultural practices and treat for disease as soon as symptoms appear. 6. Sometimes the problem is just too much of a good thing. When a tomato plant has too many blossoms, the resulting fruits are all competing for the limited food supplied by the plant. Only the strong will survive. The plant will automatically abort some flowers. Once the initial crop is harvested, the problem should subside.Nothing will guarantee fruit set. Things like temperature and humidity are out of the gardener’s control. Sometimes youjust have to be patient and wait for conditions to correct themselves. If the weather seems fine and other gardeners inyour area are not having fruit set problems, you should consider the cultural causes of tomato blossom drop. Choosing asuitable variety and keeping your plants healthy will give you an edge.Why are My Tomatoes Cracking?Tomatoes tend to crack when they receive irregular water. If your tomatoes have gone through a dry spell and you try tomake up for it with frequent waterings, the inside of the tomato will plump up faster than the outside can stretch andgrow. As a result the outer skin of the tomato splits open or cracks. Tomatoes that crack are still edible. They just wontkeep as long. You can prevent future tomatoes cracking by making sure that they receive water regularly, whether or notit rains. Mulching the area around the tomatoes will also help maintain ground moisture levels. Finally, look for varietiesthat are resistant to cracking.Understanding Late Blight of TomatoesLate blight is a disease that affects mainly tomatoes and potatoes. Once it takes hold, the spores spread rapidly and greatdistances. Cool, wet weather encourages the development of the fungus.Symptoms include greasy looking, irregularly shaped gray spots on the leaves. A ring of white mold can develop aroundthe spots, especially in wet weather. The spots eventually turn dry and papery. Blackened areas may appear on the stems.Tomato fruits also develop large, irregularly shaped, greasy gray spots.The Late Blight fungus can overwinter in frost free areas. Since it spreads to potatoes, it also overwinters in potato debrisand seed, even in colder areas. Remove all debris and dont save seed potatoes.There are three major problems with controlling late blight. Once it’s detected, it’s usually too late to save the plant. Lateblight develops quickly. The spores are air born and can travel hundreds of miles. An infected plant in a neighboring town can mean the ruin of crops for that whole region. Late blight can over winter in plant debris and seed. You should dispose off all plant debris by the end of the season. Do not compost it. But late blight can even over winter in potatoes, so if you saved some to plant for next year or even if you simply missed one in the ground and it sprouts next year, you could be in for another season of trouble. Tomato Hornworms The tomato hornworm is the larval stage of the Five-spotted Hawk Moth. Both stages of this insect are formidable to see, but the hornworm is not a welcome sight in the vegetable garden. Their preferred food is the leaves of tomato and pepper plants. Since they blend in so well with the foliage, you may not notice them until you start to see damage. Because the hornworm is so large (about the size of a pinkie finger), the easiest way to get rid of him is to simply remove him from the plant and dispose of him. You may be lucky enough to attract parasitic wasps to your garden who will do the job for you. Parasitic wasps wont hurt you, but take a look at the next photo to see what theyll do to this guy.Top Terrific Tomato Tips1. Don’t Crowd Seedlings. Photo Provided by Inga Ropsa / stock.xchng.
    • If you are starting tomatoes from seed, be sure to give the seedlings room to branch out. Close conditions inhibit theirgrowth, so transplant them as soon as they get their first true leaves and move them into 4" pots about 2 weeks afterthat.How to Start Seeds2. Provide lots of light.Tomato seedlings will need either strong, direct sunlight or 14-18 hours under grow lights. Place the young plants only acouple of inches from florescent grow lights. Plant your tomatoes outside in the sunniest part of your vegetable plot.Plant Grow Lights3. Put a fan on your seedlings.It seems tomato plants need to move and sway in the breeze, to develop strong stems. Provide a breeze by turning a fanon them for 5-10 minutes twice a day.4. Preheat the soil in your garden. Photo Provided by daniel wildman / stock.xchng.Tomatoes love heat. Cover the planting area with black or red plastic a couple of weeks before you intend to plant. Thoseextra degrees of warmth will translate into earlier tomatoes.Red Mulch and Tomatoes5. Bury them.Bury tomato plants deeper than they come in the pot, all the way up to a few top leaves. Tomatoes are able to developroots all along their stems. You can either dig a deeper hole or simply dig a shallow tunnel and lay the plant sideways. Itwill straighten up and grow toward the sun. Be careful not to drive your pole or cage into the stem.Video - Tips for Planting Tomatoes6. Mulch Later. Photo: © Marie Iannotti (2009) licensed to About.com, Inc.Mulch after the ground has had a chance to warm up. Mulching does conserve water and prevents the soil and soil borndiseases from splashing up on the plants, but if you put it down too early it will also shade and therefore cool the soil. Tryusing plastic mulch for heat lovers like tomatoes and peppers. (See Tip #4)Why Bother with Mulch?7. Remove the Bottom Leaves. Photo: © Marie Iannotti (2009) licensed to About.com, Inc.Once the tomato plants are about 3 tall, remove the leaves from the bottom 1 of stem. These are usually the first leavesto develop fungus problems. They get the least amount of sun and soil born pathogens can be unintentionally splashed uponto them. Spraying weekly with compost tea also seems to be effective at warding off fungus diseases.Common Tomato Diseases8. Pinch & Prune for More Tomatoes Photo: © Marie Iannotti (2009) licensed to About.com, Inc.Pinch and remove suckers that develop in the crotch joint of two branches. They won’t bear fruit and will take energy awayfrom the rest of the plant. But go easy on pruning the rest of the plant. You can thin leaves to allow the sun to reach theripening fruit, but it’s the leaves that are photosynthesizing and creating the sugars that give flavor to your tomatoes.Should You Prune Tomato Suckers?
    • Sponsored LinksHeirloom Vegetable SeedsBuy Organic Heirloom Vegetable Seed Grow Safe Food With Our Seedwww.dirtworks.net/Patio Bucket ContainersGrow organic tomatoes and herbs. Save up to 25%www.aquaoasisgarden.com9. Water the Tomato Plants Regularly. Photo: © Marie Iannotti (2009) licensed to About.com, Inc.Water deeply and regularly while the plants are developing. Irregular watering, (missing a week and trying to make up forit), leads to blossom end rot and cracking. Once the fruit begins to ripen, lessening the water will coax the plant intoconcentrating its sugars. Don’t withhold water so much that the plants wilt and become stressed or they will drop theirblossoms and possibly their fruit.Blossom End Rot10. Getting Them to Set Tomatoes. Photo Courtesy of the National Garden BureauDeterminate type tomatoes tend to set and ripen their fruit all at one time, making a large quantity available when you’reready to make sauce. You can get indeterminate type tomatoes to set fruit earlier by pinching off the tips of the mainstems in early summer.Controlling Blossom Drophttp://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/archives/parsons/vegetables/pepper.html
    • Plant Height 20-90cm/8"- 3ft depending on varietyDimensionsYield per Depending on variety:-plant Greenhouse Cordon - 3.6kg/8lb Outdoor Cordon - 1.8kg/4lb Bush/Dwarf/Cherry - many - some +80Time between Greenhouse - 16 weekssowing and Outdoor 20 weeksharvestingSowing time March - April - temperature 16-21C/60-70FWhere to Sow Indoors in small pots 7.5cm/3" diameter filled with compost.How to Sow 4 seeds per 7.5cm/3" pot or in trays of compost 2.5cm/1" apart - 2cm/ ¾" deep.After Keep soil moist but not too wet.GerminationGrowing on - As the plants get bigger and develop good root balls, divide and pot individual plants upunder glass in into larger pots in stages ending with one plant per 20cm/8" container (min) or 3 perGreenhouses growbag.Growing on - Once the plants have reached 7.5cm/3" high, transplant individually to 7.5cm/3" pots.in Pots Harden off plants and finally move outdoors once all danger of frost has passed. As the plants get bigger and develop good root balls, divide and pot individual plants up into larger pots allowing one plant per 20cm/8" container (min), 3 per growbag and up to 2 per hanging basket. Place in a warm sheltered sunny position.Growing on - Once the plants have reached 7.5cm/3" high, transplant individually to 7.5cm/3" pots.in open Harden off plants and finally move outdoors once all danger of frost has passed andground plant out in beds or borders 45cm/ 18" apart.Aftercare General - Water regularly, but do not keep the compost very wet. Irregular watering may cause the fruit to split. Feed with tomato food twice a week once the fruit start to swell . Greenhouse: Tall/Cordon varieties will need staking with 2.4m/8ft canes, tying the plants to the support at 20cm/8" intervals. Pinch out side shoots which will appear where the leaves join the stems, when they are about 2.5cm/1" long. Once tomatoes have reached 1.2m/ 4ft remove the leaves below the 1st truss. Once the plants have reached the top of the cane, pinch out the growing tip Misting the plants and tap the supports from time to time to aid pollination. Keep the greenhouse well ventilated and use greenhouse shading once the temperature reaches 27C/80F. Outdoors: Tall/Cordon varieties will need staking, tying the plants to the support at 20cm/8" intervals. Pinch out side shoots which will appear where the leaves join the stems, when they are about 2.5cm/1" long. Once tomatoes have developed on 4 or 5 trusses, pinch out the growing tip. Outdoors: Dwarf and bush varieties need little maintenance apart from feeding and watering as above. You may wish to cover the soil beneath the plants with polythene or straw to protect the fruit.